Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review; A "Catch-up" Smartphone? - TeknoGadyet
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Friday, January 25, 2019

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review; A "Catch-up" Smartphone?

INTRODUCTION:

Samsung is enjoying its throne as the top mobile vendor for a long time now. However, as Chinese smartphone manufacturers are becoming more aggressive than ever, we’re pretty sure that the Korean tech giant will do anything to maintain its crown above its head. The competition has toughened up, while consumers turn out to be smarter as well.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review; A "Catch-up" Smartphone?
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review; A "Catch-up" Smartphone?

For example, Huawei has banked on its photography-centric devices that are way more affordable than Samsung’s flagship phones. In fact, even its mid-range handsets can go head to head with Samsung’s Galaxy A-smartphone series. Also, there’s Xiaomi that’s dropping best value-for-money devices, which won’t compensate anything to deliver consumers’ demand. OPPO and Vivo are there, as well, proving that you won’t have to spend too much bucks to score a good camera smartphone.

Finally realizing this dilemma, Samsung launched its first smartphone with triple rear shooters, and impressively, it was a mid-ranger – the Galaxy A7 (2018). And as what we’ve said on our initial impression, this move was like teasing us with what more they can offer when they finally arm their premium handsets with this camera setup.

Tapped as our daily driver for almost a month now, we got a chance to play around with last year’s Galaxy A7 variant. Was it enough to maintain the company’s fanbase? Let’s dig deeper here!

PHYSICAL:


Metal and Glass Construction
Metal and Glass Construction

As we all know, Samsung’s Galaxy A-smartphone family is an upper mid-range devices that are premium enough to be placed just behind the Galaxy S series and Galaxy Note line. As expected, the company dressed the Galaxy A7 (2018) with a flagship-like physique through its metal and glass construction. Bravely, it didn’t jump to the color gradient trend. Instead, it comes with a glossy body that is available in Blue, Black, Gold, and Pink.

6-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display
6-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display

The handset is dominated by a 6-inch Super AMOLED panel with an 18:9 Infinity Display. Above the screen, its speakers, sensors, and front camera are sited. Its card tray, which accommodates two nano SIM cards and microSD card slots, is lone on its left side. Through this, users can expand their storage up to 256GB without having to sacrifice its SIM 2 card slot.

Volume Keys, and Power/Lock/Fingerprint Button
Volume Keys, and Power/Lock/Fingerprint Button

Meanwhile, its right cheek houses its volume keys, and power/lock button that also functions as its fingerprint scanner. All of them worked fine during our tests, however, we felt like its fingerprint sensor should be placed somewhere we could tap it easier. Personally, I prefer it to be located on its rear rather than on its side.

Speaker Grills, microUSB port, and 3.5mm audio jack
Speaker Grills, microUSB port, and 3.5mm audio jack

Its speaker grills, microUSB port, and 3.5mm audio jack are placed on its chin.

Flip the device on its back to see its glass-like body. It sports protruding triple rear shooters, which are aligned vertically together with its LED flash. Its back showcases the company’s branding, too.

Glossy Back
Glossy Back

The device is easy to hold, but we still advise users to hold it with two hands for a solid grip. Having a glossy body, we’re impressed that it didn’t attract fingerprints and smudges too much. You can clean it up effortlessly, as well. For us, we enjoyed rocking the handset without a protective case – and we think that it’s actually cool!

6.0-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display
6.0-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED Infinity Display

Going back to its display, the Galaxy A7 (2018) flashes a 6.0-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED panel that features 2220 x 1080 Infinity Display. Of course, it has a great screen that delivers sharp and vibrant colors. Definitely, Samsung has already mastered the art of impressing us with its display quality. Moreover, the device has no notch mounted on its screen. Good news for some, isn’t it?

Display Settings
Display Settings

In addition, the device allows you to choose from four screen modes such as Adaptive display, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, and Basic. For us, we prefer the first one as it automatically optimizes the color range, saturation, and sharpness of its display. Users can also enable its Blue Light Filter to help reduce eye strain.

Multi-touch Test Result
Multi-touch Test Result

See Also: Samsung AnnounceSamsung Teases Galaxy M Series

SOFTWARE:

The Galaxy A7 (2018) runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.0 skin on top. Its interface is clean and easy to navigate, too. You’d appreciate its features, as well, such as its One-handed mode, Smart Stay, Split Screen, Finger Sensor Gestures, Dual Messenger, and Touch Sensitivity.

Software
Software

As the name suggests, the One-handed mode allows one-hand usage; Smart Stay keeps your screen awake while you’re using it or looking at it; Multi-window enables split screen; Dual Messenger lets you use different accounts on one app; while Touch Sensitivity increases its screen sensitivity when using a screen protector.

The device comes with pre-installed apps including Google native apps, Samsung apps, and Microsoft apps. These would eat more than 20GB of your 64GB onboard storage.

PERFORMANCE:

Inside, the Galaxy A7 (2018) is powered by Exynos 7885 octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz. To battle out its rivals’ gaming performance, Samsung packed it with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage.

We ran it on our preferred benchmark tools to give us a preview about its performance. Here are the results:

Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

AnTuTu – 119,577
Geekbench – 1,529 (Single Core)
Geekbench – 4,401 (Multi Core)
PCMark – 5,414 (Work 2.0)
3DMark -  15,297 (Ice Storm Unlimited)
3DMark – Max (Ice Storm Extreme)
3DMark – 961 (Sling Shot)
3DMark – 737 (Sling Shot Extreme – OpenGL ES 3.1)
3DMark – 852 (Sling Shot Extreme – Vulkan)

Tapped as our main smartphone, the handset was able to accompany us on our usual mobile activities such as basic communications, continuous browsing of social media accounts, and entertainment.  Having these tasks, the device didn’t crash or freeze.

Game Tools
Game Tools

Though we didn’t expect much about its gaming performance, we still ran games like NBA 2K19, Tekken Mobile, PUBG Mobile, and Asphalt 9 to know its limitations. We noticed that it could support these games in high graphic settings but it won’t deliver a flawless performance. To fully enjoy these games, we recommend users to lower down their graphics settings. There was also a time when the unit became hot when we’re heavily using it. It is still manageable, though. The device also features Game Launcher that allows users to block calls when playing.

CAMERA:

Moving on to its photography department, Samsung armed it with triple rear shooters composed of a 24-megapixel f/1.7 main camera, 8-megapixel f/2.4 120-degree wide lens, and 5-megapixel f/2.2 depth sensor. It comes with various camera features such as Pro, HDR, Bixby Vision, Panorama, Beauty, Live Focus, Scene Optimizer, AR Emoji, and Hyperlapse.

Camera Settings
Camera Settings

On the other hand, for selfies, the device is equipped with a single 24-megapixel front snapper. It supports Selfie Focus, AR Emoji, and Wide Selfie, too.

Sample Photos:


Outdoor
Outdoor

Outdoor
Outdoor

Outdoor - Wide
Outdoor - Wide

Outdoor - Scene Optimizer
Outdoor - Scene Optimizer

Macro
Macro

Indoor
Indoor

Outdoor - Night
Outdoor - Night

Wide - Night
Wide - Night

Night
Night

Food
Food

AR Selfie
AR Selfie

Selfie
Selfie

As you can see, photos taken by both front and rear cameras were great as long as good lighting was also provided. It was able to produce images with vibrant and sharp colors. However, some of our low-light shots were underwhelming, while some images have visible noises, too.

Impressively, unlike other camera-centric smartphones, the Galaxy A7 (2018) delivers more natural-looking photos as it won’t aggressively enhance your captured images. In fact, when taking selfies, we noticed that our blemishes were slightly removed in a way that it won’t overdo our facial features.

Other notable offerings include its Live Focus mode, which works fine, as well. It allows us to adjust its bokeh effect, making sure that it will complement our taste. On the other hand, what we like the most is its Wide Shot mode, though we still have to mention that some parts of the photos became blurry when using this feature.

You can check more sample photos here.

Relates: Samsung Announces ISOCELL Slim 3T2 Image Sensor for Full-Screen Smartphones

CONNECTIVITY:

The Galaxy A8 (2018) is loaded with basic connectivity features such as WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE, and GPS. Just like other Samsung smartphones, the unit also supports NFC. All of these will work well as long as you have a good signal reception.

Other connectivity features include FM Radio, microUSB 2.0 port, and 3.5mm audio jack.

BATTERY:


PCMark Battery Life Test Result
PCMark Battery Life Test Result

Keeping the device running is a 3300mAh battery. As our main driver, we’re impressed that it could last for almost a day. However, when we continuously use it, the handset only lasted for just 7 hours and 50 minutes.

We ran it on PCMark battery test, and it recorded 9 hours and 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, charging time took two hours.

VERDICT:


Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)

The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) became the company’s first smartphone to sport triple rear shooters. Knowing this fact, we’re impressed that the device is just priced at Php17,990. Of course, there are a lot of smartphones that you can get at this price point, but considering that it was Samsung, we didn’t thought that the brand would actually sell it for a cheaper price tag than expected.

The device offers a good camera performance, but we felt like it could actually strive for more. If you’re a Samsung fan and currently looking for an affordable photography-centric handset, then, you might consider scoring it. However, if you have no particular brand on your mind, then, there are plenty of fish in the sea!

Nevertheless, it has decent performance, good camera features, and great display. Samsung was definitely late joining in the triple-lens trend, but on a brighter side, the brand was still able to catch-up through the Galaxy A7 (2018).

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Specs:

  • Dual Nano-SIM, dual stand-by, supports LTE connectivity
  • 6.0-inch Super AMOLED (2220 x 1080) capacitive touchscreen, 18.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Dimensions: 159.8mm x 76.8mm 7.5mm
  • Weight: 168 grams
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with Samsung Experience 9.0
  • 2.2GHz octa-core CPU, Exynos 7885 14nm chipset, Mali-G71 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via microSD (uses dedicated slot)
  • 24MP f/1.7 AF + 8MP f/2.4 12-degree ultra wide + 5MP f/2.2 depth sensors, 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • 24MP front camera
  • Multimedia Player 
  • FM Radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • MicroUSB 2.0
  • NFC
  • Sensors: accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Others: Face Unlock, Fingerprint sensor (side-mounted)
  • Battery: 3300mAh
  • Colors: Blue, Black, Gold, Pink
  • Price: Php17,990

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